Monday, January 7, 2008


In 1984 I applied to about ten colleges. I was accepted at roughly six of them (I really didn't think Vassar would take me based soley on my address-- but hey it was worth a shot*.) The one I chose, was EMU. Primarily because they offered me a big fat creative writing scholarship. So off I went. I LOVED IT! I felt right at home. The campus seemed so perfect for me. Small campus with turn of the century buildings that seemed both grandiose and familiar. Lovely green park like grounds. With statues and massive trees. The architecture was familiar because the business district of my home town was constructed at roughly the same time. Lots of Victorian brick and marble columns. Charming and quaint--Just like every other town born during Michigan's lumber boom. Ypsilanti had this great little antique shop strip with a couple of kick ass pubs and the downtown was a little creepy but hey a bus ride to Paris (oops I meant Ann Arbor) was only .25 away.

My new found punk friends and I hung out at Dom's bakery all night and I waded into the Liberal Arts most cheerfully. One beatific term. Then...UofM-Flint. Gotta do what the grown ups say...marry the baby daddy. I left Eastern. I missed it. Flint was big and dirty and violent. I was determined to finish my degree but just as fiercely determined to stay independent of my folks. So we lived in some pretty "low income" places. Years go by--yadda yadda--time for me to get my Master's. When U of Chicago slipped out of my grasp I decided to finish what I had started and applied to EMU. Full circle and all that. It was gonna be good. Some of the scales of naiveté fell from my eyes. After thoroughly enjoying my Masters work I stayed in Ypsi and taught at EMU. I learned a lot about politics and economies and things I never would have been interested in--I grew up.

I watched my pretty little four year that had a nice rep for its English Dept, Ed Dept and nursing (ooh and a kick ass Men's Diving Team--and the radio station played (s) jazz!) morph into a giant parking lot that practically advertised corruption and deception.

Today in my email from work I got a fund raising request for the university. I am supposed to buy a license plate with a big "E" on it. I can hardly bring myself to consider buying a T-shirt! and I , dear reader, am one who often wears my heart on my sleeve. Case in point--I sit here typing in a fund raising T-shirt from the WEMU radio station (a VERY $eparate entity from the university) where I also volunteer during their fund drive. And yet-- I won't ...I WILL NOT give the university my money. They haven't earned it.

For you see I am quite angry with the suits who have ruined my alma mater. Example?--Despite the fact that in the last 13 years "they" have destroyed acres of green space to create parking lots for illiterate commuters-- I still have to park at 8:30 am (or earlier to be closer) to walk two blocks in order to teach at 12:30. I considered paying $480 for a parking spot quite close to my building but honestly how sick is that?
A. ) It would be the equivalent of a paycheck and a half. B.) Shouldn't one's employer provide parking? YES!! in "their" defense I have been issued a hunting permit to wrestle with the other starving vultures for a precious spot anywhere near my building. But am I gonna buy a vanity license plate for my little VW that proclaims my pride in EMU?? Hell no. How can I be proud of a place that has to send out weekly emails warning us that the co-eds are being stalked raped and killed on campus?
Seriously, immediately after the fundraising request there was another email from the campus police giving me a "timely warning" that another girl was attacked in the dorms--she curled screaming into the fetal position after getting groped and mugged. The creep ran off.

I am sad.

My French teacher at old VHS used to tell her colleagues at conventions that she "taught French at Vassar." She just didn't specify Vassar, MICHIGAN...nobody did. God what an empty relic.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

And now you know why we moved ! We can at least breathe here !